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12-02-2018, 02:16 PM - 9 Likes   #1
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KP Impressions

I finally broke down and purchased the KP (the sale price was too good to pass up). I normally don't write about a camera, but feel compelled to do so this time. A lot has been said about the KP, plenty of it negative, which is a lot of the reasons I delayed as long as I did in buying one.

A bit of background: I've shot with the K10D (ist DL as backup), K20D, K5, K3 and K-1. All of the aforementioned cameras were used at some point and time for paid work, I did a lot of portraiture, both at the beach and for schools. Later, I started doing weddings, my most recent using the K-1, K3 and K5. Also of relevance, I have large hands, wearing XXL gloves.

Size: The KP is small, there's no question to it. But having used, and still using film cameras daily, I find the size quite similar. I've never had an issue holding onto my Program Plus, or LX, and I don't see the KP as being much different. The first lens I used with the KP was my DA 17-70, followed by the DA* 50-135. Both of these lenses are rather large, especially compared to the Limited line. Maybe it's my technique from years of film cameras, but I didn't find an issue holding the camera, even with the medium grip, which I have found to be my favorite.

Auto Focus The auto focus on this camera is far and above any other Pentax camera I've used, and I was quite happy with the K3 and more so with the K-1. The DA17-70 has become a new lens, quick, accurate and never hunting for focus. The DA*50-135, I'll have to reserve judgement on, my copy is a little sticky and I have to work the focus manually back and forth a few times before it starts to work, although after that it does focus faster than it has on other cameras.

The layout of this camera is really a thing of beauty. My thumb rests on the back button for focusing, and for the first time, back button focus is completely natural to me. I originally had a few concerns about not having a top LCD, but quickly realized I have no need for it with the KP. All of the dials and buttons are easy to access and in places which make sense.

As far as two card slots are concerned, to each their own when deciding how important that is. I shot for many years with only one card slot in a camera, and never gave it a second thought, so it was never a deal breaker for me.

As with my other cameras, I will buy a battery grip, which I find useful when I'm shooting portraits, but most likely, I'll only use it for that purpose or when I decide to use the KP for a paid shoot.

The flip screen is nice, although I would have preferred a set-up like the K-1. But I understand that would have likely made the camera larger/thicker.

Bottom line is this; The KP has received a lot of unwarranted negative comments, which I wish, I for one had ignored. If you're on the fence, this is one great aps-c camera.







12-02-2018, 02:37 PM   #2
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Thanks for the review. I've always been interested in the KP. I think it would be my first choice if I wanted to get an aps-c camera...
12-02-2018, 03:32 PM - 4 Likes   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by twilhelm Quote
I finally broke down and purchased the KP (the sale price was too good to pass up). I normally don't write about a camera, but feel compelled to do so this time. A lot has been said about the KP, plenty of it negative, which is a lot of the reasons I delayed as long as I did in buying one.
I've not seen many negative comments from people who have actually used the camera. It was mostly from those who were hoping for something else and it didn't meet their list of demands. I've had mine for a few months now and couldn't be happier.
12-02-2018, 03:33 PM - 2 Likes   #4
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I recently got one as well. Some scattershot impressions:

-I'm really impressed in the upgrade in white balance processing vs the K50. I'm not sure what's happening under the hood but interior lit shots in particular seem better.

-Having 24 megapixels is really fun, I can crop to the K50's 16mpx and get great detail. Or even farther!

-I'm a little nervous about the fact that the screen's data connection ribbon is on the outside of the camera, and that it also moves when the screen pivots. I'm sure they've tested this but it seems like a point of failure.

-The camera's body is just lovely. Particularly from the top. It looks better in real life than in pictures. I'm quite pleased I went with the silver option; unlike a lot of plastic bodied 'silver' cameras, it really looks right.

-I love the top dial system... easy access to the settings I need, no need to peck around in the menus. Perfect for my natural laziness. I also love the switch for live view/ video.

-After 7 years with the K100D and 6 with the K50, it's amazing to have such a quiet shutter.

-I broke out my padded strap for the first time in ages because the largest grip is still too small for me to feel secure just carrying it around. That said, just carrying around my cameras was probably a bad habit I'm well off breaking. I did find that shifting my hands a bit from my standard manner of gripping the K50 helped out a lot.

-My old FA 50mm 1.4 LOVES this camera... I've gotten some fantastic images out of it.

-Focus is... ok? I'm not sure that I've actually noticed it to be better than the K50. ISO performance on the other hand is definitely great, 6400 is usable for family snapshots.

Overall a great camera and it really reminds me of shooting with a K1000 decades ago which feels quite nice in a nostalgic way.

12-02-2018, 04:25 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
I've not seen many negative comments from people who have actually used the camera. It was mostly from those who were hoping for something else and it didn't meet their list of demands. I've had mine for a few months now and couldn't be happier.
I agree, most of the negatives I read weren't by users of the camera. Funny how people can pass judgement before touching something.


QuoteOriginally posted by selfnoise Quote
I recently got one as well. Some scattershot impressions:

-I'm really impressed in the upgrade in white balance processing vs the K50. I'm not sure what's happening under the hood but interior lit shots in particular seem better.

-Having 24 megapixels is really fun, I can crop to the K50's 16mpx and get great detail. Or even farther!

-I'm a little nervous about the fact that the screen's data connection ribbon is on the outside of the camera, and that it also moves when the screen pivots. I'm sure they've tested this but it seems like a point of failure.

-The camera's body is just lovely. Particularly from the top. It looks better in real life than in pictures. I'm quite pleased I went with the silver option; unlike a lot of plastic bodied 'silver' cameras, it really looks right.

-I love the top dial system... easy access to the settings I need, no need to peck around in the menus. Perfect for my natural laziness. I also love the switch for live view/ video.

-After 7 years with the K100D and 6 with the K50, it's amazing to have such a quiet shutter.

-I broke out my padded strap for the first time in ages because the largest grip is still too small for me to feel secure just carrying it around. That said, just carrying around my cameras was probably a bad habit I'm well off breaking. I did find that shifting my hands a bit from my standard manner of gripping the K50 helped out a lot.

-My old FA 50mm 1.4 LOVES this camera... I've gotten some fantastic images out of it.

-Focus is... ok? I'm not sure that I've actually noticed it to be better than the K50. ISO performance on the other hand is definitely great, 6400 is usable for family snapshots.

Overall a great camera and it really reminds me of shooting with a K1000 decades ago which feels quite nice in a nostalgic way.
The data cable was something I noticed right away, although I'm not too concerned because I don't flip the screen out very often. I am curious if anyone has had an issue with it, the camera has been in a few hands for some time now.

I noticed also how good the color balance is on AWB. I think the biggest surprise for me was how well balanced the camera is for its relative size. It's very comfortable to use.
12-02-2018, 04:56 PM   #6
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The sales price got me too. The Tech of the camera is great. Waiting to give the Pixel Shift a go, the new sensor's wonderful. The top control wheels are more interesting than I thought they'd be. My concerns proved true, not much of a grip, it could use an extra large edition. For me it's the most uncomfortable camera I've ever held.Holding it more by the lens than the grip. I still think it's Pentax's Ugly Child
12-02-2018, 06:23 PM   #7
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Nice to see the club grow! The more you use it, the more you will like it Tony! High ISO will really get your attention when you have a need for a bit more shutter speed. I say you should look for a coupon here in this holiday season to save a few bucks on the grip as it becomes a completely different animal when it is mounted. this is especially true when it is cold out, or when you have a 3 or 4 pound lens mounted. It really improves the balance when anything as large or larger than the 50-135 is mounted.

You should convert to screw drive and take advantage of the strong motor!
12-02-2018, 06:29 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by SSGGeezer Quote
Nice to see the club grow! The more you use it, the more you will like it Tony! High ISO will really get your attention when you have a need for a bit more shutter speed. I say you should look for a coupon here in this holiday season to save a few bucks on the grip as it becomes a completely different animal when it is mounted. this is especially true when it is cold out, or when you have a 3 or 4 pound lens mounted. It really improves the balance when anything as large or larger than the 50-135 is mounted.

You should convert to screw drive and take advantage of the strong motor!
I'm sort of over-my-limit when it comes to new gear this year, and probably part of next year. Having purchased the K-1 at the end of last year, too many film cameras to count, and of course a multitude of lenses and now the KP, I'm likely going to have to let a few things go before I buy the grip. With the KP and K-1, I'll probably finally sell my like new K5 and my K3.

I keep saying I'm going to convert the 50-135, but for some reason it keeps working. Honestly I think my copy has an issue with lubricant, too much or maybe too thick?

12-02-2018, 06:44 PM   #9
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Oh, I forgot to mention: The ability to customize program lines is just really neat and I imagine I'll get a lot of use out of that, particularly since it can go on the custom dial.
12-02-2018, 06:47 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by twilhelm Quote
I'm sort of over-my-limit when it comes to new gear this year, and probably part of next year. Having purchased the K-1 at the end of last year, too many film cameras to count, and of course a multitude of lenses and now the KP, I'm likely going to have to let a few things go before I buy the grip. With the KP and K-1, I'll probably finally sell my like new K5 and my K3.

I keep saying I'm going to convert the 50-135, but for some reason it keeps working. Honestly I think my copy has an issue with lubricant, too much or maybe too thick?
That is very possible, especially if your copy is an early one. I know mine will go for conversion if the motor ever acts up, but so far I have been lucky and happy that it keeps working well.
Other than on my trip for a family reunion this past July, the lenses that live on my KP are the PLM and the DA* 50-135. I borrowed a 60-250 last week and if I could afford one, it may be in the top two or three as I loved the rendering on that one also.
12-03-2018, 02:25 AM   #11
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Stunning colors @northcoastgreg
12-03-2018, 09:34 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by SSGGeezer Quote
Nice to see the club grow! The more you use it, the more you will like it Tony! High ISO will really get your attention when you have a need for a bit more shutter speed. I say you should look for a coupon here in this holiday season to save a few bucks on the grip as it becomes a completely different animal when it is mounted. this is especially true when it is cold out, or when you have a 3 or 4 pound lens mounted. It really improves the balance when anything as large or larger than the 50-135 is mounted.

You should convert to screw drive and take advantage of the strong motor!
Got mine a few months ago when one of the dealers in the UK had a flash sale so I could afford to buy the grip and still not pass the RRP. The grip does make it feel like a different camera and is ideal with larger lenses.

My 50-135 has been converted to screw drive (bravely did it myself) and it rocks on the KP!!
12-03-2018, 02:42 PM   #13
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I've had my KP for about 1 1/2 years now and love it. I use the large grip. My only complaint is the "back focus button" ability. I have used bfb focus on my other cameras but on the KP half of the time, I keep pushing the green button instead and have to take my eyes away from the VF to find the assigned button. I finally gave up and now use the shutter release button. I am curious if I get the battery grip it would reposition my fingers to more naturally find the assigned button? Other than this, I don't really need the battery grip, I just carry extra batteries.
12-04-2018, 02:23 AM   #14
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Actually, holding the camera more with the lens than the grip when in the shooting position is more secure and stable, the right hand being more for using the various controls. Those of us like the OP, who have lots of experience with the old classic SLR film bodies, have no doubt been acclimated to such handling. But, for those still preferring a more grippable surface when carrying around, the optional battery grip does provide that, with the combined weight being roughly the same as the K-3 II alone, along with much more battery life and duplicated vertical shooting controls.

Unfortunately, the compact design necessitated not having separate dedicated AF and AE-L buttons. There may be a User mode setup to switch between the two uses of the AE-L button- I have not yet looked into this, as I am accustomed to using the shutter release button's half press for AF anyway. I like having AE-L readily available, which I use often to freeze exposure, and also for using it in the Hyper Manual mode.

@twilhelm- glad to see you are enjoying your KP so much! A great report! I am certain you will discover even more to be delighted with as time goes on.

Last edited by mikesbike; 12-04-2018 at 02:29 AM.
12-06-2018, 09:52 AM - 1 Like   #15
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Having the camera a little over a week now, I'm more impressed than ever! I really don't feel I need any other cameras than my K-1 and KP, guess it's time to let the nearly new K5 and K3 go to new homes (I'm keeping my K10D).

The more I use it, the less I feel I ever needed a top LCD, the control, wheel and button layout of the KP is just what it should be. If there was one thing I'd like to see changed a bit, that would be a little more length added to the left side of the camera. It would be even more "retro" and have a bit more grip with just a 1/4" added to that side.

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